“Katharine Cooper’s photographs tell part of the story of two of the biggest political events of modern Africa: the collapse of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994, and the expulsion of white farmers from their homes in Zimbabwe by Robert Mugabe and his ZANU–PF party in 2000. These separate episodes, with deep roots in Africa’s colonial past, reversed centuries of government-sanctioned racial privilege. While many white Africans continued to prosper after these changes, others have seen profound reversals of fortune. It has been estimated that as many as 10%, or 450,000 whites in South Africa now live below the poverty line. In Zimbabwe, many have simply left….
The decision to focus on one of southern Africa’s numerous minorities is a conscious one, but should not be mistaken as triumphalism, or an apology for the colonial enterprise. To the contrary, the story of white Africans, while unique, is in an important sense the story of all diaspora. The question of belonging is universal. Home is a complex term, felt in our very sinew, but difficult to define. We understand when we have lost it, but rarely do we know its true borders.”
— Phillip Prodger 2015